Launch of National Deprivation of Liberty (DoLs) Court

The President of the Family Division has announced the launch of a National DoLs (Deprivation of Liberty) court on 4 July 2022. The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the leadership of Mr Justice Moor.

From 4 July 2022, all new applications seeking these orders will be issued in the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ). The new court will be supported by two Family High Court/deputy high court judges each week and a dedicated administrative team based in the RCJ. Cases will either be retained for hearing within the National DoLs Court or will be returned to circuit, based on agreed criteria.

It is anticipated that, subject to judicial direction, cases will be heard remotely.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division said:

“This is important, sensitive work and the continued growth in the number of these applications to the family courts requires the creation of a dedicated listing protocol. The national DoLs court will provide the necessary expertise in dealing with these matters. I am grateful to Lisa Harker and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory who have kindly agreed to conduct research which will enhance our understanding of the nature of this work.”

The data will be published regularly on the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory website.

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